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Monday, March 1, 2010

Dream a Little Dream

I belong to a wonderful Etsy group, PieceMakers Mosaic Artists.  We are scattered all over the US, but are fast friends.  I haven't belonged to the group but a few months, but felt  at home there right away.  It has been nice to be able to visit with other artists, as I have missed that since we moved out here to Ft. McKavett.

Every 2 months the group has a challenge.  One person comes up with a theme and we make a piece of art that represents that theme.  This time it was 'Dream a Little Dream'.  For 2 months that song has been running around in my brain!!  I finally decided on a dream of mine, an English cottage garden.  I love gardens that are sprinkled with this and that and have that overgrown look.

I will never be able to have such a garden.  Living in the country in west Texas makes it hard to have a garden, period!!   I plant something that I just love, such as 'lambs ears' and find out the next morning that jackrabbits love it as much as I do!!  Or, the deer come through.  They like to just taste things, pulling many of my just planted flowers out of the ground.  One time a deer walked through my vegetable garden and pulled up an onion here and there.  It tasted a few tomatoes, green ones and ripe ones, only to spit them out.  Oh, I was SO mad!  Then there is the alkaline soil problem.  Alkaline soil produces light green or yellow leaves and stunted growth.  Roses don't like alkaline soil at all!!  Work as I may, I have still not corrected the soil enough to plant and grow a pretty rose.  If it's not the soil, or animals, there is Mother Nature.  She really likes to play games out here.  It's either hot and dry, or too wet, or hail, or a late freeze.  You name, she can do it out here!

But, the main reason that I will never have an English cottage garden is the fact that snakes also like pretty, shady gardens.  Roy has a terrible fear that I will be working in my over grown garden and get bitten by a snake.  I have two friends who live out from the city that have been bitten by rattlesnakes while working in their gardens.  It  could happen to me.  To satisfy him, I keep my garden neat, or at least I try, and keep it cut back so that there are not so many bushes for snakes to hide in.

My mosaic piece was made from many porcelain boxes, pretty plates, old jewelry and beads.  I have a 'ring' saw that I can cut out pieces for my mosaics and I love using it!  When the pieces were all cut, I glued them on a board.  Not thinking ahead, I glued a lot of the roses on.  Then, in a panic, I wondered how I was going to grout around all those roses and flowers.  That is when I thought of using beads as fillers.  I love the effect, but it was difficult using the beads and getting some of them in just the right places.  When I had finished the piece, I painted ivy around the edge of the board.  I used mirrored tile to look like a little pond.  The path is made from quartz that I find here on the ranch.  I had to soak it in water, then pound it with a hammer to get it to break into all the little pieces, but it made a nice pathway.

The challenge pieces can be voted on and who ever wins gets a small prize and the great feeling of having won an art show!  You can go vote at

                                          work in process (wip) pictures
                                          Some of the pieces that I cut up

My ring saw and some of the things that I cut up.        

The process of gluing on the flowers.                         

The messy stage.                                                       

The finished project.                                                  

A close up showing the ivy border.                             

One last close up.                                                        
For a real treat, be sure and go to the PieceMakers blog and vote for your favorite project.  There are some beautiful works there.

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